Whether at the farm gate or in the board room, stopping to take stock, acknowledge success and identify areas for improvement is essential
to ensuring any good business remains on track to deliver desired outcomes.
Now at the half way mark for 2015, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is reflecting on the progress made thus far and the challenges yet to overcome, with
the interests of dairy farmers and their profitability top of mind.
Volatility is a constant theme for dairy farmers and the past six months has been no different with all regions affected in some way by floods, drought
and an ever fluctuating global milk price. But while there have been challenges there has also been important progress.
In March, we welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement to introduce legislation capping water buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (MDBP)
at 1500 gigalitres (GL). The 1500GL cap provides dairy farmers in the Murray-Darling Basin with much-needed certainty about future water availability
to sustain their business.
ADF has also welcomed the relaxation of audit requirements for farmers in the southern-connected region of the Basin who participate the On-Farm Irrigation
Efficiency Programme. This policy win will be explored later on the newsletter.
ADF’s lobbying on competition policy was instrumental in securing a positive step toward reforming Australia’s flawed legislation - the introduction of
a Prescribed Code of Conduct. The Prescribed Code is not perfect, but it does address several key imbalances with regard to retailers’ power over suppliers.
We welcome the commitment already made by retailer Woolworths by signing onto the Prescribed Code, and expect that in the days to come all the major
retailers will follow suit.
ADF will continue to monitor the Codes’ effectiveness over the next three years with a view to seek the strengthening of regulations if necessary. We will
also continue to advocate for an Ombudsman to help balance the market power of major retailers.
The above ‘short list’ skims the surface of the progress made so far this year, with many challenges, and triumphs, still ahead. At the forefront of our
agenda is ensuring our industry retains the confidence and trust of consumers, customers and the broader public by addressing issues of concern such
as unconventional gas mining and highlighting dairy farmers’ commitment to the health and wellbeing of their cattle.
The team at ADF remains committed to ensuring Australian dairy’s voice is heard through government policies that support our industry, and working with
our industry bodies to ensure dairy’s good practices are known and understood across the broader community.